text-only page produced automatically by LIFT Text Transcoder Skip all navigation and go to page contentSkip top navigation and go to directorate navigationSkip top navigation and go to page navigation
National Science Foundation
design element
News From the Field
For the News Media
Special Reports
Research Overviews
NSF-Wide Investments
Speeches & Lectures
NSF Director's Newsletter
Multimedia Gallery
News Archive
News by Research Area
Arctic & Antarctic
Astronomy & Space
Chemistry & Materials
Earth & Environment
People & Society

Email this pagePrint this page
All Images

Press Release 06-153
Vitamin C and Water Not Just Healthy for People -- Healthy for Plastics, too

New manufacturing techniques may lead to cheaper, "greener" plastics

Back to article | Note about images

Researchers are using vitamin C (background) to craft certain plastics more efficiently.

A new use for vitamin C (background) allows researchers to use less copper catalyst to drive powerful polymerization reactions critical for manufacturing many plastics.

Credit: National Science Foundation, adapted in part from a Carnegie Mellon graphic


Three tubes containing substances labeled ATRP, New ERA ATRP and FRP.

This image illustrates the power of the new ERA technology developed by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University. This environmentally friendly technology uses vitamin C or other electron-absorbing agents to reduce the amount of copper driving a plastic manufacturing technique known as ATRP. ATRP gives manufacturers a broader chemistry toolkit than the commercially used FRP technique, yet produces significant copper waste. In a series of test tubes, the dark solution (ATRP) contains a high amount of copper byproduct, while FRP contains none. The new, "green" ERA-ATRP process has the power of ATRP, creating nanoscale, uniform plastics with optimal functionality, but ERA is more efficient and yields a much clearer solution with less catalyst waste.

Credit: Krzysztof Matyjaszewski, Carnegie Mellon University

Download the high-resolution JPG version of the image. (1.1 MB)

Use your mouse to right-click (Mac users may need to Ctrl-click) the link above and choose the option that will save the file or target to your computer.

Email this pagePrint this page
Back to Top of page